Tired of handing out candy? It’s expensive, and most parents end up throwing out the majority of their trick or treaters’ loot to keep their kids (or themselves!) from overindulging. Sadly, in most areas, safety concerns prevent us from handing out home baked goodies, and other healthy alternatives to candy can be expensive. If you enjoy a parade of trick or treaters coming to your door every year, try out some of these Halloween candy alternatives that will keep the kids and your wallet from groaning.
The larger containers of play doh can be expensive and weigh down a trick or treater’s loot bag, but smaller, fun-size containers are also available. You can buy a package of 10 for around $5, and they can be purchased at stores like Wal-Mart or found at online retailers such as Amazon.com.
Small containers of bubbles can be found anywhere party favors are sold. You can also check your favorite big box store’s seasonal aisles in the summer for multi-packs of bubbles.
Stickers can be festive if you choose Halloween-themed ones, but are still fun no matter what character or phrase is on them. You can buy sheets of stickers and trim them in half to save costs. Educational supply stores often sell rolls of stickers.
Wait, this sounds expensive! Not necessarily- if you watch sale ads, you can purchase them as cheaply as $.50 per car. Another invaluable resource is thrift stores. Our local thrift store has a huge box of these fun little cars and sells them for less than $.50 a piece. Take some time to dig through and find cars in good condition. Make sure to clean and sanitize them before distributing to trick or treaters.
Pens, pencils, erasers, and crayons
Thinking ahead can save you lots of money. When back to school sales are on, these useful items can be picked up for next to nothing. Find fun colored erasers, or pay a little extra to get Halloween themed pencils. If you missed the back to school sales, small packages of crayons can be purchased in the party favor aisle for cheap.
There are hundreds and hundreds of websites that offer free printable coloring sheets, so your only out of pocket costs are for paper and printer ink. A simple Google search will produce thousands of Halloween themed pictures.
Balloons are fun. Buy a small helium tank and inflate the balloons as you go, or just hand them out to kids for them to enjoy later. Make sure you get their parent’s permission before handing these out to smaller children.
These oranges are available in the fall and winter, and are usually sold in five pound bags. They are small, delicious, easy to peel, and perfect for kids. Due to safety concerns, these may only be an option if you live in a small town and know all the trick or treaters and their families personally.
If you’ve ever filled goody bags for a child’s birthday party, you are probably very familiar with the party favor aisle at your local big box store. You can buy small puzzles, rings, whistles, bouncy balls, and all kinds of other fun stuff. They come in packages with several items, so they shouldn’t break the bank for you. Other places to look for party favors are party stores and websites like Oriental Trading Company.
These small plastic bracelets are very popular right now. Brand name ones can be too expensive to purchase in bulk, but most stores sell alternative brands that make them affordable.
You may not think these are appropriate for children, but kids love them and most parents are relaxed about them. They are simple to apply (just add water) and wash off fairly easily. They come in all kinds of characters and designs.
Kids may enjoy receiving various Halloween related treats, such as tubes of face paint, plastic spiders, or vampire teeth. Be creative!
To save even more money, watch for sales throughout the year. Halloween stuff will go on sale after the holiday, so buy some and store with it your decorations until next year. Bubbles go on sale toward the end of summer as the stores begin changing their seasonal aisles over to back to school products. Planning ahead will help you provide fun and healthy alternatives to Halloween candy that will leave both kids and parents smiling.